"What's going on here?"
Rose and Group 1 just arrived when they saw the commotion between Nathan and the rest.
There were no longer 3m-tall skinless zombies around town so they decided to contact Group 2 and asked for their location.
She also gave orders to have 25 normal guards and some members of Group 1 to patrol the Southeast of Haven Town just in case. And because there was no electricity, the slaves and other personnel will clean the area in the morning instead.
She gazed over at Nathan who seemed like he was looking at preys. On the other side were the members of Group 2 who were looking at him with murderous intent, ready to bombard him with bullets at any moment.
The tension in the air was so high as if it will explode any second now.
"I said, what's going on here!"
"Rose, this so-called captain of Team 5 chose to ignore your orders and abandoned his teammates to hunt on his own. He also threatened to kill all of us twice! Twice, I tell you! Aren't we supposed to be allies? This person doesn't see us as allies at all!" Brezine said.
"Boss, if I may, we are an organization. If a member, especially a high-ranking member at that, refuses to follow orders, how can we expect the lower-ranking members to follow orders? An organization without rules is nothing," R.R. said.
"That guy is too much!"
"He should be branded as a traitor and serve as a slave!"
A lot of people began to voice out their frustrations.
Rose looked over at Nathan and there was a cold glint in her eyes.
She saw him slowly taking a few steps backward from the crowd that formed a C formation around him.
To be honest, she tried her best to be patient with Nathan's attitude, thinking that he was still adjusting and will eventually settle down. It's only been 24 hours since he joined the group anyway.
However, although it's only been 24 hours since Nathan joined, every time he interacts with the rest of the members, there's always a fight and he already got into many fights. First was at Hunter's Hall, the second one was when he murdered his own teammates at Cram City (Team 5 members confessed when they were interviewed), the third one was a when he fought Team 2 in front of Tony's Car Shop, and now this one.
With the pressure of the Second Phase, she was finally starting to consider that perhaps inviting Nathan to join Red Dust was a poor decision.
'Even in a simple operation like this, he could make trouble? How much more if it was an important mission?' Rose thought.
She then recalled her father's advice.
'Was this what father was warning me about?'
After asking that inside her head, she calmed herself down. She still hasn't heard Nathan's side of the story.
"What do you have to say for yourself?" Rose asked Nathan.
"Say for myself?" Nathan, who was already a couple of feet away from the group, spat on the ground. "I will never explain myself to weaklings who have no choice but to depend on other people to survive."
In Nathan's mind, if he were to explain himself to these weaklings, how would be that any different from begging? Wouldn't his efforts to become be a high-level being worthless?
There was no way he was going to bow down to society ever again. This was no longer the world before the zombie apocalypse. In this new world, he's a Chosen One and society should be the one bowing down to him!
And as for their accusations, the way he sees it, they were nothing but convenient lies modeled into something to paint themselves as the victims.
For starters, he isn't and will never be Rose's subordinate. And plus, they have an agreement that he has the right to accept and ignore tasks. And even if he chooses to ignore a task mid-way after accepting it, he has every right to do so.
He was no one's dog or slave!
Abandoned them? What sort of bullshit is that?
In the beginning, he specifically told them to follow him yet they abandoned him mid-way and went on their own.
Now, because they got hurt and some of them even ended up getting killed due to their own decisions they're blaming him? Do they think of him as their nanny? Do they think of him as a white knight that would save them from their own dumb decisions?
He doesn't owe them anything!
The fact that they decided to join Scavenger Teams, they should've been prepared to face death. That's like going into the frontlines of war and not expecting to get hurt.
Threatened to kill them?
Why not? He didn't and would never ask for their help to kill the 3m-tall skinless zombies. They even wanted to kill-steal the S2 he was chasing. In addition to that, they're not returning his [Grade D] Dagger.
His own self is the only person he needs and can depend on.
And lastly, him about being supposed allies with them.
Just imagining them having this notion that they were allies made Nathan's skin crawl. He doesn't and will never acknowledge them as allies, especially when considering the fact that he was forced to join this organization through blackmail!
Who in their right mind would accept these people as allies? He would be the greatest fool to see them as such!
Hearing Nathan's answer, the crowd grew livid.
"You see that?! His arrogance is boundless! He's nothing but a selfish bastard!"
"Boss, this person has no respect for you and the organization!"
"Execute him! He has killed so many of our fellow members!"
"No, torture him and make him a slave for the rest of his life!"
"This person has no right to be part of Red Dust!"
Some people spat on the ground and looked at Nathan with disgust.
Nathan offended far too many people in the short time he joined Red Dust.
Rose looked at Nathan who held a cold and arrogant expression on his face.
Thinking about her agreement with him, his personality, and everything, although there's a slim chance that Nathan might actually be the victim here, she knew that no amount of lies would help her convince the mob to excuse Nathan.
If she excuses him now, her status and power as the leader will drop.
Sure, she can use violence to forcefully convince them to accept her decision, but that wouldn't last long and her foundation will be unstable -- Humans aren't gullible creatures, they're complex and each has their own motives and desires.
And plus, because of the Second Phase, her plan to conquer the west side of Cram city needs to be reconsidered, including her deal with Nathan. At least with Ashleigh and Derek, she could manipulate them in some way or another and they weren't as bloodthirsty and arrogant as Nathan.
There was also the information she received just not long ago from her satellite phone from one of her colleagues inside the government. It was about one of the [Divine Towers].
In this situation, in order to have Nathan excused by the mob, by the very least, she could do a public punishment to Nathan. However, she doubts if he would even agree to such a thing.
'Will I choose Nathan or the group...?' Rose thought.
From here on, there was only one choice.
She walked towards Nathan and stopped when they were only an arm's length.
Nathan glanced at her.
Rose held a cool and confident expression.
Before she could even finish saying his name, she activated [Crystal Body], transformed her right arm into a sharp blade and thrust forward, aiming for Nathan's chest.
Rose's attack was quick and precise. But unfortunately for her, Nathan easily evaded it and was sneering before he disappeared.
Rose's face was painted with a surprised expression for a quick moment before turning into a serious one.
She squinted her eyes.
Even though she already long suspected that Nathan's equipment was AGI-based, thanks to his fight with Derek last night, she wasn't expecting him to be able to evade her attack on such distance.
This is also why she was confident to appear in front of Nathan last night without wearing System items because she believed he would never be able to penetrate her skin once she activates [Crystal Body].
But this proved that Nathan had grown stronger.
"SHOOT! SHOOT!! SHOOT!!!" Someone in the crowd ordered.
They began firing
They only stopped firing until their magazine ran out of bullets.
"Did we get him?" Someone from the crowd asked.
Unfortunately, Nathan's body was nowhere to be found. He was already long gone.
Seeing no sign of Nathan, many began to feel fear and looked around their surroundings.
"Rose… Why?" Ashleigh asked.
To Ashleigh, although Nathan was someone whom she considered as an unpleasant person, she still wouldn't wish to see him get killed.
When the zombie apocalypse started, he welcomed her inside his home and didn't do anything to her. And despite being that powerful, not once did he hit her.
As for her relationship with Amir…
"Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! We messed up! That killer got away! We're doomed!" Crawler threw his gun away and was freaking out.
Everyone looked at him.
Crawler was one of the people that got beaten up by Nathan and survived. He knew firsthand how cruel that bastard can be and how strong he was.
Just thinking about the idea that Nathan is still alive and out there, he knew he could ever sleep without worrying.
Brezine looked at Crawler and she could understand where he was coming from.
To her, Nathan was someone unreasonably violent and doesn't care whether you're a man or a woman. She saw how Nathan ripped a man's arm just because that man touched him. She also experienced firsthand Nathan's "equality" treatment for women.
In fact, she was well aware that the only reason why Nathan let her live was because she was Rose's friend. If not, she would have already been like those people he killed.
And now that this happened, there's nothing stopping him taking her life. The next time they meet, she would have to face him.
But despite all that, she wasn't afraid.
'Let me see you try to take my head!' She thought.
Derek looked at Rose and the others.
He knew that because of this there will be a lot of blood soon, something even bloodier than what had happened when Nathan first arrived here at Haven Town.
In truth, he was expecting Rose to arrest Nathan and give him a fair trial. He wasn't expecting Rose to handle the situation like that.
But now that that happened, there was no turning back now.
As for what he will do, earlier, before Rose visited him in his room, he already intended to leave Red Dust to go search for Sweet Dave and Sansa at Burrow City to see if they're still alive. But thanks to their "talk", she managed to convince him to stay for a few days before leaving to which he agreed. But then the Second Phase happened so he has to reconsider his plans once again.
"Boss, what we should do? If that person starts killing just like last time…" Someone asked Rose with a worried tone.
Rose glanced at the person who asked her. Everyone else also looked at her as well, waiting for her reply.
Unfortunately, she didn't reply.
The fact that she failed to kill Nathan, she knew she messed up big time and there will be a heavy price to pay but it wasn't something she can't afford.
What is done is done. No point of regretting her actions.
At the moment, she was thinking about what would be her next step.
Earlier, she received intel from one of her close colleagues in the government regarding the location of one of the 50 Divine Towers.
One of the towers was actually at the center of Cram city and there was a giant stingray that was as large as football stadium floating beside it.
As for why those two popped up there, details are still being investigated by the government.
She finally decided.
She was going to Cram city and enter the tower.
She remembered the System informing her that the towers have an entrance time limit of 12 hours. And the most interesting part is that those who enter the tower can obtain unique items and even have a chance to win [Artifact] grade items.
As for her family members, they will be safe in the secret bunker. Even a nuclear blast wouldn't be able to damage it.
She will also have the family members of the high-ranking or important members of Red Dust to evacuate to the secret bunker.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
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